John Petrucci Compares Pink Floyd To A Film

Guitarist: 'What would David Gilmour Do?'   07-Nov-11

John Petrucci has written an article about the influence of Pink Floyd's seminal Dark Side of the Moon. In the interview, the Dream Theater guitarist talks about the experience of listening to Floyd compared to listening to singles by other bands, and says listening to Dark Side is like watching a film:

"It was like a ritual. It ended up being a real influence on my desire to make records that had a certain flow that encapsulated an experience. I like to listen to albums like you watch a movie. You don’t just watch a scene or ten minutes and that’s it – you watch the movie. It’s the same with Dark Side… Start listening and you can’t help but listen to the whole album."

The article was written for Mojo magazine, and the guitarist talks at length about the importance of David Gilmour as a guitarist, and even claims that for the new Dream Theater album, he tried to emulate Gilmour's epic sound during solos:

“There’s a song on our new album called Breaking All Illusions where the guitar solo is totally influenced by those hypnotic Pink Floyd breakdowns. And I admit that what’s going through my head is, What would David Gilmour do? You think of the most memorable, melodic solos by him and people can literally sing them. That’s the level you’re looking to achieve as a guitar player.

“I get asked that a lot by young guitar players, ‘What’s most important? My technique? My sound?’ But more than anything, you have to have great songs, you really do.”

John claims that Floyd songs are great songs for guitarists to jam to, with simple chord changes executed perfectly:

"For a guitar player, Floyd songs let you build and breathe. So it's not just like, Here's your little eight-bar section. With Floyd, everything settles into this hypnotic mode that allows you to explore and jam
and take your time and get into it more. The chord choices, too, are very interesting. Usually they seem very simple. You know, it's going back and forth between two chords and you're like, well how can that
be interesting? But they do it in such a perfect way. It's written so well and the vocal or lyrical
message is so intense or the instrumentation is just
right. It just really, really works.

"And then, even if it is a pretty simple progression, there's a chord that's maybe a bit abnormal, something that makes it immediately distinctive. It's like, if you use a Minor 9 at the right point, it's so Pink Floyd. And for a band to actually own a chord change, that's pretty incredible. That means that the context they used it in was pretty intense."

Find the full article here.

Rich Beech

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(Photograph - John in Germany // CC // Sten Rudrich)


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